Student Affairs

Assistant Director for Student Staff Experience

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, MA United States

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region. 


Job Summary

The Assistant Director for Student Staff Experience develops and implements a comprehensive learning and engagement strategy for all student employees in residential communities. 


Essential Functions 

  • Primary responsibilities include developing and implementing a comprehensive learning plan for student employees including graduate assistants, Resident Assistants and Peer Mentors, and leading processes related to the student staff experience.  Serves on a team of staff members focused on developing and assessing comprehensive plans for recruiting and retaining staff in Residential Life. 
  • Develops, implements, and assesses a learning-centered, sequenced training and development program for graduate and undergraduate staff. Ensures that all staff complete required training programs and modules. 
  • Coordinates processes that support student staff training including room reservations, meal coordination, and communication with staff and partners.  
  • Develops and implements recognition initiatives and opportunities for student staff participation in student conferences.  
  • Attains working knowledge of applicable collective bargaining unit agreements (CBA) and ensure compliance with management responsibilities related to training and position descriptions. Participates in Resident Assistant and Peer Mentor Union (RAPMU) labor management meetings.  
  • Completes regular review of position descriptions, position expectations, and other materials related to student staff positions.  
  • Leads evaluation and performance management processes for student staff including developing timelines and performance management materials.  Leads and implements reappointment process for student staff.  
  • Serves as primary liaison to Disability Services to coordinate workplace ADA accommodations for student staff.  
  • Participates in the development of curriculum and instructor training for EDUC 391R: Core, a one-credit, pre-employment requirement of all undergraduate live-in staff candidates.  Serves as lead instructor for EDUC 391R: CORE or EDUC 396 for student staff co-instructors. 
  • Provides high-quality supervision of assigned student office staff. Provides direction to Office Manager related to student staff training support.   
  • Provides leadership, direction, and training to all Residential Life staff related to areas of responsibility. Leads committees related to position responsibilities. Provides back-up support to other Residential Life colleagues, including providing support to supervise a residence hall community in the absence of a Residence Director.  
  • Establishes and maintains collaborative and effective working relationships with campus partners to support staff learning initiatives, peer leadership, and staff experience, including with Student Affairs and Campus Life departments, College of Education, Graduate School, Labor Relations, Disability Services and Dining Services.  
  • Responsible for budget management in area of responsibility, including monitoring, forecasting, and reporting of variances/problems and recommending solutions.? Ensures financial resources are utilized in accordance with established policies and procedures. 
  • Supports and participates in university initiatives such as New Students Orientation and Transition initiatives, student organization events, and others related to the overall student experience. Participates in and/or lead Residential Life processes including searches, move-in/move-out, training, and events.? 


Other Functions 

  • Performs related duties as assigned or required. Understands responsibilities with respect to Title IX, Clery and other compliance requirements. 
  • Demonstrates capacity, skill, and willingness to engage students and contribute to student success. 
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with University policy. 
  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace. Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others. 
  • On an as needed basis, signs out and operates University golf cart or vehicle.? 


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure) 

  • Master's degree in a related field including, but not limited to higher education, counseling, education, social justice, social work, or business management. 
  • Two (2) academic years related work experience in higher education. 
  • Experience supervising or training undergraduate student staff.  
  • Contemporary understanding of student learning, student development, community engagement, or familiarity with residential curricular models. 
  • Demonstrated proficiency in use of technology applications including data management/administrative software, Microsoft Office Suite, and communication platforms. Ability to learn new technology platforms to perform position responsibilities.  
  • Familiarity with department or unit level projects. Ability to manage multiple concurrent responsibilities and priorities.  
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including, strong ability to relate effectively with highly diverse work force, ability to establish and maintain positive, effective working relationships, and superior communication (oral and written) and active listening skills. 


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure) 

  • Previous work experience in medium to large residential life program (min. 5,000 beds). 
  • Previous work experience in a collective bargaining environment. 
  • Previous experience supervising and training graduate student residence hall staff. 
  • Working knowledge of student learning outcomes, learning strategy design and outcomes assessment. 
  • Valid Class D Driver’s License 


Physical Demands/Working Conditions 

  • Typical office environment within a residential setting. 
  • Ability to lift boxes and materials that weigh up to 30 lbs. for transport and set up. 
  • Ability to access and reach residence halls throughout the campus for purposes of responding to incidents and meeting with staff, students and groups of students. 


Work Schedule 

  • 37.5 hour work week. 
  • Monday – Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm. 
  • Required to work evenings, and some weekends. 
  • This position is designated by Residential Life as essential personnel who may be expected to work in the event of an emergency or university closure. 


Salary Information 

Level 27

PSU Hiring Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants 

Please upload a resume along with the completed application. References will be checked at the finalist stage. Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.? To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.? It is the policy of UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action. 


  • Start Date: No Start Date
  • Education: Master's Degree Required
  • Work Experience: 1 - 3 years
  • Part/Full Time: Full-Time

Contact / Additional Information

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